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Adjust Facebook's ad preferences to see better targeted ads

If you must see Facebook's targeted ads, you might as well help with Facebook's aim.

Matt Elliott/CNET

Facebook's targeted ads are like Brussels sprouts -- to my palate, at least. I don't care for Brussels sprouts, but they are served to me from time to time. Cooked with enough butter and bacon, however, and I find myself going back for seconds. With this blog post, I will show you how to add butter and bacon to the ads Facebook serves you.

Facebook knows a lot about you from your location, age and gender along with the pages you like, your browsing history and the apps you use. It serves ads in your News Feed under the banner of Suggested Posts. Whether you are accessing Facebook from a mobile app or computer, you can tweak the perceived interests that Facebook has listed for you. Here's how:

Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET

When you come across a Suggested Post, tap or click the down-arrow button in the upper-right corner and choose Why am I seeing this? to go to Facebook's Ad Preferences screen.

Next, tap or click Manage Your Ad Preferences.

You will see a general explanation at the top about the advertiser behind the Suggested Post you just asked about and who it is targeting with the ad. Below, you will see a list of categories, each of which contains subcategories and topics. You can tap on a topic to uncheck it to prevent ads from being targeted to you based on that interest. Unfortunately, there is no way to delete in one fell swoop all of the interests Facebook has on file. You'll need to go line by line, but in doing so I personally found it vaguely interesting to see what types of interests Facebook had collected for my profile.

Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET

In addition to removing interests from the Ad Preferences screen, you can also add interests. Click the Select Preferences to Add button to select interests to ad. Facebook will suggest from interests at the top, and below you can drill down into various categories to add other interests.

If you are in a year-end Facebook housekeeping mood, then learn how to delete your Facebook search history.

(Via Lifehacker)